Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Million dollar photo

Iowa has weird voting procedures.  According to the candidates, no one lost.

How did we get brainwashed into thinking that raising taxes on the rich and not the middle class is a bad thing?  Are the rich hurting?  Well the middle class and the poor are.





Check out this photo of a potato. It may look like a rather ordinary photo, but it’s one of the most expensive photos in the world: it sold last year for a staggering $1,000,000+.

The photo, titled “Potato #345 (2010),” is by photographer Kevin Abosch, who charges huge fees to shoot portraits of famous business people in the Silicon Valley tech industry.
Business Insider reports that Abosch’s “iconic black backdrop” portraits have become a sort of status symbol among the elites of business and entertainment — the rich and famous pay over $150,000 for a photo shoot with Abosch, and up to $500,000 if commercial usage is included.
In addition to shooting pricey portraits, Abosch is also a fine art photographer, and that’s how the potato photo came about.
“Kevin likes potatoes because they, like people are all different yet immediately identifiable as being essentially of the same species,” his studio tells PetaPixel. “He has photographed many potatoes. This one is one of his favorites.”


Lawyer is accused of getting opposing counsel's trial questions from emails hacked by client

The Missouri Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments this month in an ethics case against a lawyer accused of using information obtained by his divorce client by guessing his wife’s email password.
The lawyer, 70-year-old Joel Eisenstein, is a part-time prosecutor, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The disciplinary counsel is seeking an indefinite suspension, with leave to apply for reinstatement after a year.
Ethics officials say Eisenstein saw two documents obtained by his client: a payroll document for the client’s wife and a list of direct examination questions prepared by the wife’s attorney for the upcoming divorce trial.
Eisenstein allegedly used the payroll document during a settlement conference in July 2013 without disclosing he had it, according to a brief filed by the chief disciplinary counsel.
Opposing counsel learned Eisenstein had the list of questions in February 2014 when it was included in a stack of exhibits that Eisenstein gave the lawyer. When opposing counsel asked Eisenstein why he had the list, he replied it contained a lot of leading questions and he planned to object to them, the disciplinary counsel alleges. Eisenstein later said his paralegal had placed the questions in the stack of exhibits, and he was joking when he remarked on the leading questions.
In a conference in the judge’s chambers, Eisenstein initially said he had not seen the questions list before that morning, then admitted he had seen it but didn’t read it, the disciplinary counsel’s brief alleges. On the record, Eisenstein’s client said he had obtained the documents by accessing his wife’s personal email account.
Afterward, Eisenstein is accused of sending the opposing counsel an email that read: “Rumor has it that you are quite the ‘gossip’ regarding our little spat in court. Be careful what you say. I’m not someone you really want to make a lifelong enemy of, even though you are off to a pretty good start. Joel”
Eisenstein’s lawyer, Alan Mandel, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch there was “no misconduct at all” and the case amounted to an “unfortunate mischaracterization of the facts.” He also said Eisenstein was a war hero who earned a Silver Star with the Marine Corps in Vietnam.



Lawyer who won $390K for clients at trial must pay $11K for alerting media about case

An Ohio lawyer is appealing a judge’s order requiring him to pay $11,000 to the defense, after winning $390,000 for the plaintiffs in a tort case, because he alerted a newspaper about the lawsuit.
Attorney Peter Pattakos was sanctioned for telling a friend who is a Cleveland Scene editor about the case; as it happened, the alternative weekly published a story the same day jury selection began in the case last year, reports
At issue in the case was whether a school for nannies covered up a former student’s claim that a client sexually abused his daughter and fired an employee for refusing to discredit the woman who made the claim. Although some jurors saw the Cleveland Scene headline, it didn’t affect their judgment in the case, they said.
Pattakos argued that the public had a legitimate need to know about the case. However, senior Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Burt Griffin disagreed, characterizing the lawyer’s alert to the media as “frivolous conduct” that was intended to discredit the defense.
The $11,000 represents the cost to the defense of questioning jurors and bringing a sanctions motion.

famous Texan


BUSTED: Cruz’s campaign chair quits Washington House after friends reveal he lied about military service

A Republican lawmaker has resigned from the Washington state legislator and quit his role as Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign chair over accusations that he exaggerated his military service record.
State Rep. Graham Hunt (R-Orting) stepped down Tuesday due to media coverage of what he described as “inconsistencies in the records of my military service,” reportedThe Seattle Times.
Hunt resigned, effective immediately, after meeting with other lawmakers to address reports that he was unable or unwilling to provide military service records to prove he served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan or won three medals he listed on his official biography.
The lawmaker, who was elected in 2014 to the legislative seat to which he was appointed the year before, also removed a doctored photo from his Facebook page that falsely identified a soldier as Hunt in the aftermath of a mortar attack.
He deleted some references in his online biography to medals that military service records do not verify that he earned.
The newspaper reported that some of Hunt’s former friends and allies had raised additional questions about the lawmaker’s service record following the initial reports.
Josh Penner, who served with Hunt on the Orting City Council, said the GOP lawmaker had repeatedly lied to him and others about serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.
The head of the state’s Libertarian Party, Steve Nielson, shared a private social media message from Hunt claiming that he had been shot in Iraq and stabbed in Afghanistan.
Hunt insisted he had “nothing to conceal,” but he admitted he could communicate “more clearly.”
He stepped down last week as Washington state chairman for Cruz’s presidential campaign.
Hunt was part of a delegation of out-of-state lawmakers who traveled to Oregon to meet with armed militants who were occupying a federal wildlife refuge
The leaders of that group have since been arrested on federal charges, and one of them was shot by law enforcement officers after attempting to flee.
Austin County Bar Meeting


Australian landscape photographer Peter Lik has taken the crown for most expensive photo ever sold. “Phantom,” the picture shown above, was sold to a private collector for a staggering $6.5 million. The record was previously held by Andreas Gursky’s “Rhein II”, which sold for $4.3 million back in 2011.

“Phantom” was captured at Arizona’s Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon that’s popular among landscape photographers, and shows a beam of light resembling a “ghostlike figure” (hence the name). It’s a black-and-white version of a photograph that has also been printed in color with the title, “Ghost.”
Lik also announced that the same buyer purchased two other photographs for $2.4 million and $1.1 million (“Illusion” and “Eternal Moods,” respectively), giving Lik four photos in the list of 20 most expensive photos of all time (he previously sold a separate photo for $1 million back in 2011).

Dear fellow alumni,

After a five year hiatus, we’re excited to announce that Reunion Weekend is back and better than ever! As the co-chairs for Reunion Weekend 2016, we hope to see you April 8-9 for our fun-filled weekend in Houston. All alumni are encouraged to attend, especially those celebrating milestone reunions!

Here is a quick overview of the scheduled events:

Friday, April 8

6:00 – 9:00 PM – All Alumni Bowling Party – Show off your skills or cheer on your favorite bowler at this family-friendly event. The ticket price includes unlimited bowling, shoe rental, food, and one drink ticket.

Saturday, April 9

5:00 – 6:00 PM – Town Hall Meeting – Donald Guter, President & Dean of South Texas, will share what's new on campus. Stick around for an open Q&A session.

6:00 – 8:00 PM – Progressive Party – Check out our recent renovations and additions – the front entrance, T. Gerald Treece Courtroom, The Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics, the Fred Parks Library, and the outdoor patio – while enjoying champagne and canap√©s.

8:00 – 10:00 PM – All-Class Reunion Party – Relax and unwind with an evening of dinner, drinks and dancing with fellow alumni. You might find us in the photo booth or tearing it up on the dance floor.
To register and to find the latest information on our reunion, including hotel information and special bookstore hours, please visit

Whether or not you can attend, we want to keep in touch. Tell us what you've been up to and share your favorite South Texas memory by completing our Reunion Class Survey. Information will be compiled into a commemorative book available at Reunion Weekend and online after the festivities.

We sincerely hope to see you at Reunion Weekend. Come relive your law school days, catch up with old friends, and check out all of the changes on campus. Spread the word: get in touch with your friends, study buddies, and classmates NOW – and invite them to join you on April 8-9. Use the hashtag #STCLReunion2016 and join the conversation!



Analysis: Is Attorney General Ken Paxton Feeling Lucky?, by Ross Ramsey — It’s possible to imagine a way for the attorney general to raise money for a legal defense fund, but it’s perilous without a favorable advisory opinion from ethics regulators. And they decided this week not to approve such an opinion.



Darnell Earley
Flint's Former Manager Resigns as Head of Detroit Schools


Darnell Earley, the state-appointed emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools, who had also managed Flint and oversaw its decision to draw its water from the Flint River, has resigned.


Analysis: Is Attorney General Ken Paxton Feeling Lucky?

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is shown at a news conference in Austin on Jan. 13, 2016, to announce a new unit of the attorney general’s office dedicated to combating human trafficking.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is shown at a news conference in Austin on Jan. 13, 2016, to announce a new unit of the attorney general’s office dedicated to combating human trafficking.
Attorney General Ken Paxton can raise money for a legal defense fund if he wants to, but he won’t have the state’s protection if he does.
This is problematic for the state’s top lawyer, who faces criminal charges in this first year of what is supposed to be a four-year term and needs some expensive legal talent to get him out of that jam.
Paxton can’t seem to catch a break.
He was indicted late last summer on charges of securities fraud and failing to register as an investment adviser representative before acting as one. His lawyers are trying — unsuccessfully, so far — to get the charges dropped.
He lawyered up, just like anybody would. But because these are not the alleged transgressions of an elected official, Paxton can’t use his campaign funds to pay his lawyers. If these were allegations about his activities in public office, he could. He has to use his own money or — if he can find a way — a separate legal defense fund.
In October, he recused himself from any involvement in securities and ethics cases that come to his agency, which serves, among other things, as the in-house law firm for the Texas State Securities Board and the Texas Ethics Commission.
The same special prosecutors who took the securities charges to a Collin County grand jury are now examining real estate transactions that involved Paxton and other elected officials. The land in question ended up as the site of the Collin Central Appraisal District.
To recap his last 15 months: Elected, sworn in, investigated, indicted, recused from some official duties, and investigated again.
This guy could read the Book of Job for comfort.
But there’s more.
This week, the Texas Ethics Commission met to consider an advisory opinion that would have offered a flicker of good news. They came close, but ultimately couldn’t agree on how to allow someone in the attorney general’s office to raise money for a legal defense without tripping the state’s bribery statutes. The proposal was not Paxton-specific, although everybody seemed to know the undisclosed name of the man at the center of all of this activity.
The Ethics Commission has eight members, and it takes five to approve an opinion. Only four did so, and that appears to be the end of it.
An advisory opinion from the commission isn’t exactly a get-out-of-jail free card, but it’s close. The commission proposed, over the course of a dozen pages, some guidelines for Paxton or anyone else in the AG’s office to follow if they needed to raise money for their legal defense. The donor couldn’t have any connections to the jurisdiction of the state’s lawyers, except for the donation itself. The donors would have to be vetted with some diligence, and donations (termed “gifts” in the draft proposal) of more than $250 would have to be disclosed within 30 days. The commission also proposed keeping the officeholder’s fundraisers and other political employees out of anything involving the defense fund.
None of it was approved, leaving Paxton exposed to state bribery laws if he raises a defense fund. Those laws are tighter over this particular office of state government and say, essentially, that nobody with any past, present or future business with the state can give money to the lawyers. Campaign contributions are an exception. Legal defense funds are not.
The reasoning is pretty simple. People with business before the attorney general, people who might find his friendship useful to their business or their interests, might be more willing to pay for his lawyers than you would. That’s not aimed at Paxton; Louisiana is next door, and ideas tend to travel.
Lawyers for some unnamed somebody asked the ethics commissioners if there was some way that people outside the state — with no apparent interest in Texas affairs — might be able to give money to Paxton.
The nuances here are interesting and important. The commissioners did not say yes, but they did not say no. By not saying yes, they declined to write a blueprint for raising legal defense money that Paxton or anyone else in his agency could follow, knowing all the while that if someone called a foul, the ethics opinion would offer protection.
It’s possible to imagine a way to raise money, but it’s perilous. It would have to be done without triggering the state’s bribery laws and their ban on taking money from anyone who might have business before the state.
The commissioners had some ideas of how to raise that money legally, and Paxton might be willing to do what they proposed, even without the shelter of an advisory opinion they had too few votes to approve.
He needs the lawyers to defend him against the indictments and to shield him against the real estate investigation. Lawyers are expensive. A treasure chest raised from friendlies would remedy that. But filling the treasure chest might break another law.
With Paxton’s luck, would you take the risk?




‘I would bomb the sh*t out of 

them’: Here’s what it would sound

 like if Jesus talked like a 


Jesus plays a big symbolic role in Republican politics — even if the candidates themselves express views that so clearly stray from Christ’s teachings.

Jimmy Kimmel decided to have a guy dress up as Jesus and read statements from Sen. Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and other GOP presidential candidates.
The results, as you might imagine, are super weird — and oddly illuminating.
Watch the entire segment posted online by Jimmy Kimmel Live:


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